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In this lesson, you will learn about Eubacteria. You will learn some of the major characteristics as well as some examples of this major group of bacteria.

Bacteria In A Pond

Have you ever examined pond water under the microscope? If you have, what did you see? Most likely you saw that the water was teeming with life. There is a whole microscopic world of organisms all around us that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

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Some of those tiny microscopic organisms are what we know as bacteria.

Classification of Bacteria

Organisms are grouped in a hierarchy called the classification of living things based on similarities and differences between these organisms. The classification of living things has what is known as a domain as the top level, the most broad grouping. At this level, organisms are either classified as being a part of domain eubacteria, archaea, or eucarya.

Within each domain are kingdoms, the first sub-level of classification. (There are several more levels under kingdom, but for today’s lesson that’s all you need to know about the hierarchy.) The tiny organisms we referred to in our pond example are part of domain eubacteria and kingdom bacteria. Note that kingdom bacteria is the only sub-classification of domain eubacteria, so you’ll often see the terms bacteria and eubacteria used interchangeably.

Characteristics of Eubacteria – Real Bacteria

Bacteria are all known as prokaryotes. Prokaryotes are organisms that lack a cell nucleus and other cell parts, and tend to be less complex. Eubacteria/bacteria also possess cell walls made of peptidoglycan, a chemical that gives their cell wall added strength.

Another characteristic of bacteria is that they can be categorized by their shape. Bacteria can be classified as rod shaped, circular (called cocci), and wavy or spiral shaped (called spirilli).

Life Cycle of Bacteria

Reproduction in bacteria is called binary fission. Binary fission occurs when bacteria duplicate their genetic material and divide the cell into what are called two ‘daughter cells.

‘ Under certain conditions, some bacteria can divide as fast as once every twenty minutes. And some bacteria are able go into what is known as a resting state, or form an endospore, when conditions are not suitable for them. Endospores are extremely resistant to heat, radiation, drought, and toxic chemicals. When exposed to the right conditions, the endospore will convert back to a live and active bacterial cell. Some bacterial endospores have been reawakened from 250 million years ago!

Diversity

Eubacteria/bacteria are able to get energy from a wide range of sources. Some bacteria are able to get energy from light or from organic (contains carbon) or inorganic (does not contain carbon) compounds, like sulfur or hydrogen. Because of the diversity in how they obtain energy, bacteria play an important role in the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles.

The many ways that bacteria are able to get energy for their life processes also allows them to live in many different places. Bacteria can live where there are extreme temperatures, high pressure, or even toxic substances. Bacteria can be found in saltwater, freshwater, on land, and everywhere in between.

Lesson Summary

Organisms are grouped in a hierarchy called the classification of living things based on similarities and differences between these organisms.

In the classification of living things domain is the most broad grouping. Organisms are either classified as being a part of domain Eubacteria, Archaea, or Eukarya.The next level of classification is kingdoms, and Bacteria is the only kingdom under the domain Eubacteria.

Eubacteria/bacteria are prokaryotes. Prokaryotes are organisms that lack a nucleus and other cell parts, and are less complex organisms. Eubacteria/bacteria also possess cell walls made of peptidoglycan, a chemical that gives their cell wall added strength. Bacteria are usually one of three shapes: rod shaped, circular (cocci), and wavy or spiral shaped (spirilli).

Reproduction in bacteria is called binary fission. During binary fission bacteria duplicate their genetic material and divide the cell into two ‘daughter cells.’ Some bacteria are able to go into what is known as a resting state, or form an endospore, when conditions are not suitable for them. When exposed to the right conditions, the endospore will convert back to a live bacterial cell.Eubacteria/bacteria are able to get energy from a wide range of sources. The many ways that bacteria are able to get energy allows them to live in many different places.

Bacteria can be found in saltwater, freshwater, on land, and everywhere in between.

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